Note on Using URLs in MLA: In lieu of the fact that web addresses tend to change, and because there can be multiple versions of the same document on the web, MLA specifies that using containers (e.g. JSTOR, Netflix, Spotify) in your citation will help the reader access and verify the source.
With MLA you are only required to use the www. address. Do not use the https:// when citing URLs.
If a DOI (digital object identifier) is attached to the document (such as a scholarly journal article) then you are expected to use the DOI instead of the URL.
Online newspapers and magazines often include a “permalink”- this is a shorter, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to find this. Use a permalink instead of a URL if this option is available to you.
Note on Using Abbreviations with Electronic Sources: If page numbers aren’t available, use “par.” or “pars.” (instead of “p.” or “pp.” for page numbers) to note which note the paragraph numbers.
It isn’t required to note the date you accessed the webpage on, but including an “Accessed on” notation in your citation, if one is available, is encouraged. This is particularly encouraged if there is no copyright date listed on the website.
Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Databases): Note that not all web pages will provide the following information. Your job is to collect as much of the following information as possible for your citations:
- Author and/or editor names (if available)
- Article name in quotation marks.
- Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
- Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
- Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
- Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
- Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed).
- URL (without the https://) DOI or permalink.
- Remember to cite containers after your regular citation. Examples of containers are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container is anything that is a part of a larger body of works.
Use the following format:
Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
For examples on how to cite Online Scholarly Journal Articles, E-mails, Blog posts, Tweets, YouTube videos and more please visit this OWL guide.